Wet weather causing problems at community center’s playground

This is Special to the Leader

Leicester – Some residents may have noticed the playground at the Leicester Community Center has been cordoned off. The Leader asked officers of the center’s board what was going on with the playground. We received a response from Marie Whitener, president, and the Officers and Board of Directors of the Leicester Community Center.

“We have been up to our knees in water issues this year,” Whitener said as she went on to outline the water problem over the past few months.

“May: The first four months of 2019 we had roughly 30% higher than normal rainfall (and it was even higher by the end of June). One of our volunteers (we are all volunteers at the LCC) noted that we had new ‘water springs’ bubbling up just above the Mitchell Carver Memorial Playground. The playground flooded and became a real muddy mess. We had to caution tape off the playground at that point and reached out for help.

“June/July: Buncombe County Soil and Water (BCSW) began actively working with us to create a new drainage system to protect the playground when we discovered that we had seepage from our 60+ year old septic system occurring at the same time. With Buncombe County Environmental Health (BCEH), we cordoned off the upper lawn and picnic tables of the LCC. We worked with septic repair specialists and found that our septic system could not be repaired; the drainage fields added in 1991 were swamped and essentially dead.

“August: We are installing a new drain field up the hill behind the LCC, a new pressure line from a new pump and new septic tank which we hope can be in place by mid September and running when we get the go-ahead from BCEH.

“But we are not finished. We still have to correct the original drainage issues above the playground,” she said. “This has been a frustrating and difficult process for all of us at the LCC. We have appreciated the understanding and support of the renters and users of the Community Center who have had to do without the much-loved playground.

“No one wants to see that playground filled with happy kids more than we do. And we appreciate the many folks who have been offering financial assistance to help us cover staggering expenses.

“Donations may be made through our Facebook page or sent directly to the Community Center via Treasurer, Leicester Community Center, PO Box 1518, Leicester, NC 28748. You can always communicate with us at or by calling 828-774-3000. Thanks to everyone who cares and can pitch in to help.”


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